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On Writing Chase Scenes

By Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Author of The Frugal Editor, the winning-est in her award-winning HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers

This article is excerpted from some editing I did for a writer of experimental fiction when I was on a Greater Los Angeles Writers Society panel writer of any genre can apply these suggestions to the chase, getaway, or high action scene in your script or manuscript before you send it to an agent or publisher or, better still, while you are writing the first draft. 

Sometimes even the most fascinating, interesting and irresistible detail can slow down the forward movement of your story. So as much as writers are told that detail is important, purge as much as you can from your action scenes and put it somewhere else or dribble it into narrative in other places in your manuscript. In the process, ask yourself if your reader really needs to know the color of the protagonist’s eyes. As important as detail is, some is better left to the imagination of the r…
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